The term ‘Influence’ is often construed as a sophisticated cousin of manipulation. But how true is this assumption?
The human race has over the centuries confused manipulation for influence and an association of evil has been attached to a natural human phenomenon, which is why most people try to make a conscious effort to refrain from it, resulting in sabotaging growth in all areas.
This is precisely why we find people stopping themselves short lest they influence another person’s decisions, preferences or choices; or stop themselves from closing deals, moulding characters of children or letting go of an important relationship; all because they fear ‘influence’.
But is it even possible to not influence the environment you inhabit? The father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud found that despite eliminating geographical proximity, signs of manipulation were still persistent in his clients, and he concluded that it is impossible to not influence other human beings even while being in a neutral state or presenting hardcore facts.
The way you breathe, your energy, your gut instinct, all influence the environment and you, in turn, are also influenced by the environment. Have you noticed how you don’t even know why but sometimes you’ve been to a place, and as soon as you taken the first step you’ve felt as if something was wrong? That is the environment influencing your state of mind, and your whole being.
This realization is important for all human beings, without which they will not begin to take responsibility for their actions and influences. Every thought, word and deed influences or manipulates the decisions of people around us, but the more relevant question here is, how do we use this power of influence or manipulation?
It is our duty to understand the power of influence we have on others and take complete responsibility of what and how we chose to influence them. We have the choice of using this influence for the good of others, and it is a conscious decision we can make, but without realization and awareness, this feat will not be possible.
A person who denies this phenomenon is merely owning up to irresponsible behavior, by stating that they would continue to influence but not take responsibility for it.
Can this realm of influence also change our day to day life? Often the treatment we receive at restaurants, meetings, the airport, or at home is influenced by our own state of mind. Can you change it by just changing your state of mind?